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Latest Developments in Ukraine: August 11

A child named Anhelina looks through a shrapnel hole in a fence after a recent Russian military strike on the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, August 10, 2022. 

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

10:06 p.m.: Oil flows have resumed from Russia to Hungary and Slovakia via the Ukrainian section of the Druzhba oil pipeline, Ukraine's Naftogaz said, days after being suspended over payment issues, Reuters reported.

Naftogaz's JSC Ukrtransnafta pipeline operator said it resumed operations upon receiving payment from Hungarian oil company MOL on Wednesday evening.

Ukraine had halted Russian oil shipments via Druzhba on Aug. 4 after Western sanctions prevented it from receiving transit fees from Moscow.

The suspension of pipeline flows on Tuesday affected Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic as all rely heavily on Russian crude and have limited ability to import alternative supply by sea.

9 p.m.: Ukraine's top cyber official addressed a room full of security experts at a hackers' convention following a two-day trip from the capital, Kyiv, to a casino in Las Vegas, Reuters reported.

During his unannounced visit, Victor Zhora, the deputy head of Ukraine's State Special Communications Service, told the so-called Black Hat convention on Wednesday that the number of cyber incidents to have hit Ukraine tripled in the months following Russia’s invasion of his country in late February.

"This is perhaps the biggest challenge since World War Two for the world, and it continues to be completely new in cyberspace," Zhora told an audience at the annual conference.

Since the beginning of the year, Ukraine had detected over 1,600 "major cyber incidents," Zhora said.

Zhora told Reuters that Microsoft, Amazon and Google had offered pro bono cloud computing services to the Ukrainian government as it moves its data out of the country.

Some of Ukraine's data archives are being held within data centers across "multiple [European] countries," he added, without elaborating.

8:20 p.m.: Ukraine's harvest next year depends on exports this year. The Times of London reports.

7:42 p.m.: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global food chains and is contributing to a crisis exacerbated by already-rising food prices and deepening poverty across much of the Middle East and parts of Africa, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Both Kyiv and Moscow are leading exporters of agricultural products to those regions, and the deepening ripple effects from the war are worrying governments and international organizations. The World Economic Forum has warned that crises in food, fuel, and finance worsened by the war could stoke unrest in poorer countries and push others into default.

A July deal struck by Turkey with Russia and Ukraine broke a monthslong Russian blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports and provided some hope for relief, although United Nations officials have said the shipments are not reaching those most in need and are unlikely to stave off a growing international food crisis.

To find out more about the growing fallout from the war, RFE/RL spoke with Daniel Speckhard, a former U.S. official who is currently president of Corus International, a global aid organization. Speckhard previously served as U.S. ambassador to Belarus and Greece and was NATO's deputy assistant secretary-general for political affairs, among other roles.

6:16 p.m.: Kalush Orchestra, winner of the 2022 Eurovision song contest, released its official video of the song "Stefania."

5:26 p.m.: Western countries committed more than $1.55 billion in cash, equipment and training during a donor conference to boost Ukraine's military capabilities in its war against Russia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The money was pledged by 26 countries at the conference of defense ministers in Copenhagen, Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov told journalists.

“All the countries that came to Copenhagen came with the intention of supporting Ukraine,” Bodskov said at the end of the one-day meeting.

The money will be used to supply weapons, missiles, and ammunition, increase weapon production for Ukraine, train Ukrainian soldiers, and demine war-torn areas in Ukraine.

4:45 p.m.: Germany plans to host an international conference, possibly in October, to discuss the rebuilding of Ukraine after Russia's invasion last February, a government source told Reuters on Thursday.

The source said the plans had not been finalized, but October 25 was a possible date.

That is "a possible date for such a conference, but it is not final yet," the source said, giving no further details.

Germany is chair of the G-7 group of industrialized nations and Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters earlier that the reconstruction effort needed in Ukraine would be enormous, bigger even than the Marshall Plan, the U.S. program which helped rebuild Western Europe after World War II.

3:50 p.m.: A former officer in Germany's army reserve force went on trial on Thursday on charges of spying for Russia, in a case that could worsen relations deeply strained by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Prosecutors have said Ralph G., whose family name cannot be fully disclosed under German privacy laws, provided Russian agents with "numerous documents and information" about the German army from October 2014 until March 2020, when he was deputy commander of a squad.

Strains between Russia and the NATO military alliance have risen to levels unseen since the Cold War after the West imposed tough sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Germany's federal prosecution has also accused Ralph G. of supplying Russian agents with information about Nord Stream 2, the pipeline owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom and which Germany halted in February.

3 p.m.: IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is scheduled to brief the U.N. Security Council Thursday at 3 p.m. about nuclear safety and security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility. "I welcome this opportunity to inform the Council,” Grossi said on Twitter Thursday. “It is vital that the IAEA be present at the plant to help reduce danger of a possible nuclear disaster."

2:25 p.m.: A court in Russia on Thursday ordered a former state TV journalist placed under house arrest for nearly two months pending an investigation and potential trial on charges of spreading false information about Russia’s armed forces, The Associated Press reported.

Marina Ovsyannikova was charged over a street protest last month, when she held up a banner that said, “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin is a killer, his soldiers are fascists. 352 children have been killed (in Ukraine). How many more children should die for you to stop?”

If convicted, Ovsyannikova faces up to 10 years in prison under a new law that penalizes statements against the military. The law was enacted shortly after Russian troops moved into Ukraine.

In the courtroom on Thursday, Ovsyannikova held up a poster saying “Let the murdered children come to you in your dreams at night.” She first made international headlines on March 14, when she staged an on-air protest against Moscow’s war in Ukraine. “Marina became a hostage of her own conscience and a hostage of her love for her children, you see,” her lawyer, Dmitry Zakhvatov, said after the hearing.

2:10 p.m.:

1:45 p.m.: Ukraine's interior minister said on Thursday that Ukraine had to be ready for any scenario at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that has been hit shelling, including evacuating people from the area, Reuters reported.

Ukraine and Russia-installed local officials blamed each other for a new volley of shelling on Thursday at the nuclear power plant - Europe's biggest - which lies in southern Ukraine.

"The plant is as of today not only in the hands of the enemy, but in the hands of uneducated specialists who could potentially allow for a tragedy to happen," Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told Reuters in an interview.

1:15 p.m.:

12:50 p.m.: Belarus said on Thursday that blasts heard overnight at one of its military bases 30 km (19 miles) from Ukraine were caused by a "technical incident," Reuters reported.

At least eight explosions were heard after midnight near Zyabrovka military airport, according to reports on Telegram messenger. Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.

Commenting on the incident, the Belarusian Defence Ministry said "the engine of a vehicle caught fire after replacement ... There were no casualties."

The incident occurred after powerful explosions rocked Russia's Saki air base earlier this week in Russian-ruled Crimea, which Moscow had termed an accident.

Ukraine has declined to publicly claim responsibility for the explosions at the base, while also not denying involvement.

12:35 p.m.: The European Union said Thursday it has delivered 60,000 metric tons of assistance to Ukraine since the war started including ambulances, generators, and different types of vehicles.

12:20 p.m.: Russia’s independent news outlet Novaya Gazeta says it has been fined 350,000 rubles ($5,700) for "abusing media freedom," according to Reuters.

The fine relates to a witness account Novaya Gazeta published from the Ukrainian city of Kherson in March.

The news outlet later deleted the account from its website under orders from Russia’s media watchdog. A spokesperson for the news outlet says they plan to appeal.

12:00 p.m.: Ukraine expects a ship to arrive on Friday to load grain for delivery to Ethiopia under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, the country's infrastructure minister said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"Thanks to the Black Sea Initiative we are ready to load more than 23,000 tonnes of grain and export it to Ethiopia," Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter.

11:40 a.m.: The U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is helping children with disabilities in Ukraine reduce war-related anxiety.

11:10 a.m.: Estonia plans to bar Russian citizens with Schengen visas that were issued by the Baltic state from entering the country because of Russia's ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

Estonia stopped issuing new tourist visas to Russians shortly after the invasion of Ukraine in February, except for the relatives of Estonian citizens.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said after a government session on Thursday that, although the Schengen visas issued by his country will remain valid, they will not be accepted for entry into Estonia.

Reinsalu emphasized that the decision affects only the estimated 50,000 visas issued by Estonia, adding that the government plans to discuss in the coming days ways of barring all Russian citizens from entering Estonia.

10:45 a.m.: The first grain ship to depart from Ukraine under a U.N.-brokered deal docked in Turkey on Thursday after 11 days at sea, Refinitiv data showed. The ship's agent in Turkey said it would continue to Egypt after unloading part of its cargo, Reuters reported.

The Razoni set sail from Ukraine's Odesa port on August 1 under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey between Russia and Ukraine. Eleven other ships have left since then.

While the Razoni was initially headed to Lebanon's Tripoli, Ukraine's embassy in the country said the buyer had refused delivery due to a five-month delay and the ship was looking for a new customer.

The ship, which had since been at anchor off Turkey's southern coast, entered the port in Mersin Thursday afternoon, Refinitiv ship tracker data showed. Kadir Soyer, agency director at Mersin-based shipping agent Toros, said the ship would offload 1,500 metric tons of corn in Turkey and later continue to Egypt with the rest of its 26,527-metric ton load.

10:30 a.m.:

10:05 a.m.: Ukraine state energy company Energoatom said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex was shelled on Thursday, putting the blame on Russian forces that seized the area in March, Reuters reported.

Energoatom said the plant's area was struck five times, including near the site where radioactive materials are stored, but that nobody was injured and the situation at the plant remained under control.

Earlier in the day, the Russian state-owned news agency TASS said Ukraine shelled the plant for a second time on Thursday, citing the Russian-installed local administration.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports of either side.

9:50 a.m.:

9:40 a.m.: Sweden's government has decided to extradite a man to Turkey wanted for fraud, it said on Thursday, the first case since Turkey demanded a number of people extradited in return for allowing Stockholm to formally apply for NATO membership, Reuters reported.

NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden's bid to join the Western alliance in June after weeks of tense negotiations where Ankara accused the two Nordic countries of harboring what Turkey says are militants of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

As part of the deal, Turkey submitted a list of people it wanted Sweden to extradite, but has since expressed frustration over the lack of progress. A spokesperson for the Swedish Ministry of Justice declined to say if the man was on the list of people Turkey has demanded to have extradited or to provide further comment on the matter.

9:25 a.m.:

9:10 a.m.: Russia has doubled the number of air strikes on Ukraine's military positions and civilian infrastructure compared with the previous week, Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"The enemy's planes and helicopters avoid flying into the range of our air defences, and therefore the accuracy of these strikes is low," he told a news conference. Hromov said Ukraine would send reinforcements to Pisky, a frontline town on the outskirts of the separatist-held city of Donetsk that has seen intense fighting in recent days.

Russian-backed separatists claimed to have captured Pisky, but Ukrainian officials denied the town had fallen. Reuters was unable to verify either account.

8:25 a.m.: Russia on Thursday condemned a resolution by Latvia's parliament that designated Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism," Reuters reported.

"Considering that there is no substance, except for animalistic xenophobia, behind this decision, it is necessary to call the ideologues nothing more than neo-Nazis," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.

The resolution said that "Latvia recognizes Russia's actions in Ukraine as targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people", and called for greater military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic backing for Ukraine.

8:20 a.m.: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday issued a statement saying he is “gravely concerned” about the current situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is under Russian military control and in a region where heavy fighting has taken place recently, according to VOA’s U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer.

“I have appealed to all concerned to exercise common sense and reason and not to undertake any actions that might endanger the physical integrity, safety or security of the nuclear plant – the largest of its kind in Europe,” Guterres said. “Regrettably, instead of de-escalation, over the past several days there have been reports of further deeply worrying incidents that could, if they continue, lead to disaster.”

The U.N. Secretary-General called on Russia and Ukraine to cease military activity in the area near the nuclear plant, and not to target its facilities or the surrounding area. He asked both sides to withdraw their military personnel and equipment from the facility.

“The facility must not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area,” Guterres said.

“The United Nations continues to fully support the critical work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its efforts to ensure the safe operations of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. I urge the parties to provide the IAEA mission with immediate, secure and unfettered access to the site,” he added.

Guterres said that any damage to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant could lead to “catastrophic consequences” for the wider region and beyond.

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is scheduled to brief the U.N. Security Council Thursday about nuclear safety and security at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility. "I welcome this opportunity to inform the Council,” Grossi said on Twitter Thursday. “It is vital that the IAEA be present at the plant to help reduce danger of a possible nuclear disaster."

8:15 a.m.:

8:00 a.m.: Britain and Denmark will provide more financial and military aid to Ukraine, they said on Thursday as European defense ministers met in Copenhagen to discuss long-term support for the country's defense against Russia's invasion, Reuters reported.

Britain, which has already donated advanced weapons systems to Ukraine and given thousands of its troops military training, said it would send more multiple-launch rocket systems.

The announcements come after the government in Kyiv repeatedly pleaded with the West to send more weapons, including long-range artillery, as it tries to turn the tide on Russia's February 24 invasion.

Earlier this month, Ukraine said it had received another delivery of high-precision heavy weapons from Germany and the United States.

7:50 a.m.: Heavy fighting has been reported around the eastern Ukrainian town of Pisky, some 10 kilometers northwest of the city of Donetsk, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

“It is hot in Pisky,” wrote Danil Bezsonov, a member of a Russia-backed separatist group that calls itself the Donetsk People's Republic, on Telegram early on Thursday. “The town is ours, but there remain scattered pockets of resistance in its north and west.”

Ukrainian officials said their troops still control the town. Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in an interview that Russian forces had tried to move into Pisky “without success.”

Neither report could be independently verified.

7:35 a.m.:

7:20 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Western nations Thursday to provide more money to help Ukraine’s military keep fighting nearly 5½ months after Russia invaded its neighbor, The Associated Press reported.

“The sooner we stop Russia, the sooner we can feel safe,” Zelenskyy said while addressing defense leaders at a Denmark conference aimed at strengthening financing for weapons, training and demining work in his country. “We need armaments, munitions for our defense,” he added, speaking via a live link from Ukraine.

The conference in Copenhagen is a follow-up to an April meeting at a U.S. air base in Germany that established the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which coordinates international military support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov, who attended the conference in Denmark’s capital, told journalists that acquiring more fighter planes is the country’s priority right now. “In the first stage, we need fighters. After that, demining,” Reznikov said.

Denmark is co-hosting the daylong conference in Copenhagen with Britain and Ukraine. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the goal of the event was securing “concrete steps.” He announced that Britain says it will send more multiple launch rocket systems and guided missiles to Ukraine to help it resist Russia’s invasion.

7:05 a.m.:

6:50 a.m.: Several explosions have been reported in an area of Belarus near a military airport that Ukrainian authorities say has been used by the Russian Air Force to attack Ukrainian territory, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported.

The Belaruski Hayun and Flagshtok Telegram channels quoted witnesses on Thursday as saying at least eight blasts were heard and flashes were seen near the Zyabrovka military airport in the southeastern Homel region of Belarus overnight. The base is some 30 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said in a statement that at 11 p.m. on August 10, the engine of a military vehicle caught fire and "measures to extinguish the fire were undertaken," adding there were no casualties.

The incident came in the wake of a series of explosions at a Russian airbase in the occupied Ukrainian region of Crimea that destroyed at least nine Russian military aircraft. Kyiv has not publicly claimed responsibility for the attack. Russia's Defense Ministry has denied the Saky base in Crimea was attacked, blaming the explosions on a "violation of fire-safety requirements."

6:35 a.m.:

6:15 a.m.: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday promised a new package of measures, including tax relief, to help people struggling with rising energy bills as a result of a gas standoff with Russia, Reuters reported.

“Citizens can count on us not to abandon them,” Scholz told journalists in Berlin.

An energy transition towards renewables is a top priority, and Germany will not slow its efforts to become independent of fossil fuels, he said at a summer news conference, an annual tradition introduced by his predecessor Angela Merkel.

Europe has plunged into an energy crisis as Russia cut gas flows following its invasion of Ukraine in February. Scholz's government has introduced an energy levy to ease the strain for companies buckling under high gas prices, and is combining that with relief measures for struggling households.

Asked whether rising prices could trigger social unrest, Scholz said: “No, I don't think that we will see unrest in this country in this form, on the grounds that Germany is a welfare state... This welfare state has to take effect in this situation by way of saying that we will not leave anybody alone.”

6 a.m.: Britain will supply Ukraine with more multiple-launch rocket systems that can strike targets up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) away, Reuters reported.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the supply of weapons would help Ukraine defend itself against Russian heavy artillery.

“This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery,” Wallace said in a statement.

“Our continued support sends a very clear message, Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.”

5:30 a.m. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, will brief the United Nations Security Council on Thursday about the nuclear safety and security situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzya Nuclear Power Plant and efforts to lead a mission to the site as soon as possible, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The meeting, scheduled to start at 3pm EST (9 pm CET), takes place a few days after shelling at the ZNPP sparked alarm about the potential risk of a severe nuclear accident at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has six reactors.

5:25 a.m.: The Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday that Switzerland could not represent Ukrainian interests in Russia and Moscow’s interests in Ukraine because it is no longer a neutral country, Reuters reported.

“Switzerland... has stopped being a neutral state and joined sanctions (against Russia),” Russian foreign ministry official Ivan Nechayev said.

5:05 a.m.: Denmark will increase its financial aid to Ukraine by $113.6 million (110 million euros) at an international donor conference held in Copenhagen, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

4:45 a.m.: Latvia’s parliament on Thursday designated Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” over the war in Ukraine and called on Western allies to impose more comprehensive sanctions on Moscow in order to bring an end to the conflict.

“Latvia recognizes Russia’s actions in Ukraine as targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people,” the Baltic nation's parliament said in a resolution.

Western nations should increase their military, financial, humanitarian and diplomatic backing for Ukraine and support initiatives condemning Russia's actions, it added.

Millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes and thousands have been killed since Russia's invasion in February.

Moscow says it does not deliberately target civilians in what it calls its “special military operation” aimed at safeguarding Russia’s security and protecting Russian speakers in Ukraine.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he was grateful for the Latvian parliament's resolution.

“Ukraine encourages other states and organizations to follow suit,” Kuleba tweeted.

3:30 a.m. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Governor Valentyn Reznichenko reported that Russian forces shelled Nikopolsky overnight, killing two and injuring seven, including a 13-year-old girl, according to The Kyiv Independent. The attack also damaged high-rises, schools, vehicles and shops, said Reznichenko.

2:40 a.m.:

1:30 a.m.: A businessman known as “Putin’s chef” has developed “a taste for business in blood,” according to a leading Russian campaigner for prisoners’ rights. Olga Romanova, head of the Russia Behind Bars nongovernmental organization, said she’s seen reports from trusted inmates in at least three prisons. They say that Kremlin-connected businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin had personally visited to recruit convicts as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine. Prigozhin is often connected with the shadowy Russian Wagner Group, a mercenary paramilitary organization, as well as catering companies. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has this story.

12:05 a.m.: Coca-Cola Co.'s bottler, Coca Cola HBC, will on Thursday detail the cost of stopping production and sales of Coke in Russia, a goal that has taken five months to reach as the company used up its existing supplies, according to Reuters.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., which relied on Coca Cola HBC to manufacture and distribute its sodas in Russia, said in March it would suspend production in the country. The Swiss-based bottler, in which Coca-Cola has a 20% stake, has since then been using up its remaining stock. It placed its last orders for concentrate in March.

Coca-Cola HBC last week in a statement on its website said it had stopped making and selling Coke-branded products in Russia and had no plans to re-introduce them. The bottler instead is re-naming its business in Russia Multon Partners and focusing on local brands including Dobry, Rich and Moya Semya.

Some information in this report came from Reuters and Agence France-Presse.